US policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean continued in a seamless transition from Trump to Biden, but the terrain over which it operated shifted left. The balance between the US drive to dominate its “backyard” and its counterpart, the Bolivarian cause of regional independence and integration, continued to tip portside in 2021 with major popular electoral victories in Chile, Honduras, and Peru. These follow the previous year’s reversal of the coup in Bolivia.
Central has been the struggle of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America) countries – particularly Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua – against the asphyxiating US blockade and other regime-change measures. Presidential candidate Biden pledged to review Trump’s policy of US sanctions against a third of humanity. The presumptive intention of the review was to ameliorate the human suffering caused by these unilateral coercive measures, considered illegal under international law. Following the review, Biden has instead tightened the screws, more effectively weaponizing the COVID crisis.
Thousands of Bolivians, who undertook a 180-km and seven-day-long journey on foot from the town of Caracollo in the Oruro department under the banner of ‘March for the Homeland,’ arrived in the capital city La Paz on November 29. The historic march, which was organized in defense of democracy and in support of President Luis Arce’s government, concluded with a massive rally at the San Francisco plaza in La Paz.
Over 1.5 million workers, women, students and peasants from across Bolivia joined the rally in the capital and expressed their approval of the national government of the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, and their rejection of the destabilization attempts by the far-right opposition sectors. Holding national flags, Indigenous Wiphala flags, placards demanding justice for Sacaba and Senkata massacres’ victims, respect for the 2020 election results, rejecting coup attempts by the right-wing forces, hundreds of thousands of Bolivians flooded the plaza and the surrounding streets for several blocks.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador revealed that a section of the Bolivian armed forces may have launched an RPG rocket at the plane that was transporting former President Evo Morales to Mexico after the coup d’état in Bolivia in November 2019
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has revealed that former Bolivian President Evo Morales would have been assassinated by the right-wing opposition forces with the support of the Bolivian armed forces if a pilot from the Mexican Air Force (FAM) hadn’t saved his life by dodging an RPG rocket launched at the plane that was transporting him to Mexico. The assassination attempt was revealed in his book A la Mitad del Camino (Halfway through the Road), which was released on August 31,
AMLO’s book gives a detailed account of Operation Bolivia, through which Morales was rescued after the coup d’état in November 2019. A document of the National Defense Secretariat of Mexico, published in the book, shares the testimony of a FAM official and pilot, Miguel Hernández, who expressed his suspicions that a section of the Bolivian armed forces targeted the aircraft with an RPG rocket, moments after it took off from the Chimoré airport in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
During a special virtual meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), that brought together its 34 active member countries, the government of Bolivia reiterated its motion to initiate an investigation against Secretary General Luis Almagro and his putschist agenda.
Bolivian Foreign Affairs Minister Rogelio Mayta denounced the OAS for its renewed and unjustified attack on Bolivia, after Almagro reaffirmed, on August 9, that a fraud had taken place in the 2019 Bolivian presidential elections.
U.S. and E.U. governments are expressing outrage today over the forced landing by Belarus of a passenger jet flying over its airspace on its way to Lithuania. The Ryanair commercial jet, which took off from Athens and was carrying 171 passengers, was just a few miles from the Lithuanian border when a Belarusian MiG-29 fighter jet ordered the plane to make a U-turn and land in Minsk, the nation’s capital.
On board that Ryanair flight was a leading Belarusian opposition figure, 26-year-old Roman Protasevich, who, fearing arrest, had fled his country in 2019 to live in exile in neighboring Lithuania. The opposition figure had traveled to Athens to attend a conference on economics with Belarus’ primary opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya and was attempting to return home to Lithuania when the plane was forcibly diverted. Read More »
Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America with a gross domestic product of around US$3500 per capita, health spending of approximately $220 per capita, a labour market dominated by informal work, and a weak health system. However, in the response to COVID-19, Bolivia has fared better than other health systems in the region and provides insight with regard to the implementation of subnational non-pharmaceutical interventions and supporting workers without social protection.
The ruling government of progressive Movement Towards Socialism (MAS)party emerged as the winner of the subnational elections held in Bolivia on March 7. Photo: Agencia Boliviana de Información
The results of the subnational elections held in Bolivia on March 7 confirm the faith of the Bolivian people in the ruling government of the progressive Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party and its transformation project. According to the results of the departmental, regional and municipal elections released on March 22, the MAS is the only party that has a broad presence in all the nine departments of the country.
The MAS won 240 out of 336 mayor’s offices, which represents a majority of over 70% of the country’s local governments. The party secured 13 more mayors than in the last elections held in 2015. Additionally, in 19 municipalities, the victory was consolidated with 100% of the valid vote.Read More »
Only weeks after their landslide victory, the leftist Movement to Socialism (MAS) party is already enacting widespread changes to Bolivia in an attempt to undo the damage of one year of military rule. Last November, a U.S.-backed coup removed democratically-elected president Evo Morales from power, placing the far-right authoritarian politician Jeanine Añez in power.Read More »